Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Can it be .......... the EOTWQ?

OK, not done one before so this is new ground to cover.

No particular reasons for these questions, just maybe some variations on what we have done before.

1) I am a big fan of what literature geeks call genre fiction. I love fantasy, science fiction, historical novels, detective stuff, so the first question is;

What is your favourite fiction genre and what book is the epitome of that style for you?

2) I think we have done musical guilty pleasures before, but it is always worth revisiting. Recently I bought Seals and Crofts Diamond Girl album, it was a fave of mine back in the mid '70s. What is your most recent gulity pleasure music purchase?

3) A food question. What is the earliest "exotic" thing you remember eating that was something completely outside of what you had at home?

4) I am a big fan of Marvel comics and my favourite character is Doctor Strange (hence the pic). Do you like comics and, if so, who is your fave character?

5) Last one. Have you ever wanted to be a character in a novel? If so, who and why?

Oh Mama

Shameful edit
I still want it to be summer hot

Forces of Vicktry - gremlinfc salutes you

Grandad gremlinfc playing an old role- any idea who the quotes are from?
1.“The greater our innocence, the greater our strength and the swifter our victory”
2.“Character is victory organized.”
3."One must start with the impossible in order to reach the possible."
4."The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights. "
5."The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
6."A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth glancing at".
7."If you don't stand for something , you will fall for anything".
And finally summat from a true philosafa...
"If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.”

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This isn't the half of it...

Uploaded by

I only managed to take one pic on my iphone on the shoot today, which is this one - a crap snap of the monitor.

what you won't see for a week or so, is people spinning on their heads, some freaky dancing, booty shaking, moonwalkin and all sorts of good stuff like that.

the artist is the dude in the middle. i had to get the leading lady to take her shoes off, to aid his ego...

Uh! Tears Baby (A Trash Pop Icon)

Typical, isn't it? You wait ages for an Album Of The Week and then two come along at the same time. Sort of ...

This is yet another (relatively) obscure album from what is fast becoming known as the ToffeeBoy era. Before I got involved with this strange 'Spilly thing, it hadn't particularly occurred to me that so much of the music that I love dates from the 1980s but I can't deny that it does seem to be the case. Perhaps it's because I lived and breathed music during much of the decade, playing in bands and working for Our Price. Who knows?

Win were a short-lived band, formed out of the ashes of Postcard-era Scottish indie-popsters, The Fire Engines. Their first single was released in 1985 and they had disbanded by 1990 - if you blinked, you'd have missed them. The entire back catalogue consists of seven singles and two albums. That's all there is.

The album I'm sharing with the class today, is Win's 1987 debut, the strangely (pretentiously?) titled Uh! Tears Baby (A Trash Pop Icon).

It's not really typical of the sort of music I tend to like - it isn't full of jangly guitars, it's not at all fey or whimsical and it's far more dance-based and much, much funkier than you might expect from an old fogey like me. But what it does have is great tunes, soaring melodies, interesting lyrics and some inventive use of electronic keyboards/synthesizers. More than anything else, it sounds to me like a band having fun.

Some of you (I'm sure) won't like the production - there's almost certainly too much reverb for Chris's liking (whether we're talking spring reverb or otherwise will have to be left to Abahachi to judge) - and some of you may not like the (admittedly very '80s) vocals - and you know what? I don't care. This is an album that's been part of my life for twenty two years and I love it. And I just wanted to share ...

Super Popoid Groove
Shampoo Tears
Binding Love Spell
Un-American Broadcasting (Ext)
Hollywood Baby Too
Empty Holsters
You've Got The Power
Charms Of Powerful Trouble
It May Be A Beautiful Sky Tonight But It's Only A Shelter For A World At Risk
Charms (Reprise)
Baby Cutting

Scots amongst us may remember this:

Screamy Quiz

Inspired by JP's scream post - here are some scream related toons. Looking for title & artiste - One priceless 'Spill point for each:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bbbbbut Bbbbbruce

I said on the mothership the other day that I admired Springsteen but am not a fan, as in I find him a tad tedious to listen to for long.

I was surprised to find that The Band had covered his Atlantic City, and I think they help me make my point. To be fair, Bruce's is from the deliberately sparse Nebraska, which I like more than many others. But the Band's take stays true to the song and album's organic roots, so its not like it needed a lot of gimmicking up or anything.)

Bruce's version
Creative dissent welcome.
Band's version


Acorns. Trees. Fall.

Blimp's reminiscing about listening to records with his Dad reminded me of playing chess at the kitchen table with my Dad and listening to his records: Johnny Cash, Odetta, Janis Joplin and Stan Getz were his favorites, along with some Buffy Sainte Marie, Jefferson Airplane and Andres Segovia. I think there was some Leadbelly in there too. This was when Michelle My Belle was on mom's radio in the other room, so on reflection he knew his music.

My Dad and I had a complicated relationship, as some of us do. For those who also did, or do, I thought I'd share some Hank Williams Jr with you. (I have kids of my own now, and I may not be the best Dad in the world, but one thing I have not saddled them with is big footsteps lol).

Hank Jr, very briefly, collapsed under the weight of expectations and in later middle age made peace with his demons and dead father. Most of his songs are autobiographical, and brutal in their honesty at times.

The Conversation is from his A Tribute to My Father album.
Long Gone Lonesome Blues was one of several early Hank Jr songs to play on the word Lonesome. I wanted to post his 1969 hit Standing in the Shadows (of his father), but I don't have it.
There's A Tear In My Beer is a virtual duet by Hank and his dad.
A Whole Lot of Hank and Family Tradition speak for themselves.

UPDATE: Standing in the Shadows arrived by overnight post. Typically it's not very deep or poetic, but it's all on his sleeve.
I know that I'm not great
And some say I imitate
Anymore I don't know
I'm just doing the best I can

After all I'm standing in the shadows
of a very famous man

Sunday, September 27, 2009

It's a banjo too. In fact it's two banjos. Well actually it's two elongated banjos. It's two long banjos held to the chin and played with bows.
Ok. Alright. It's Casey Driessen and the Color Fools.

Banjo Or Freakout!

This one's for all our resident 'Spiller banjo fans - banjo? check! build to a missive banjo climax? check! moreish and catchy tune? check! cheeky swearyness that stops you singing it infront of the kids? check! BANJO? CHECK!!!

The YFF (Young Folks' Folk, (c) Blimpy 2009) movement moves apace - rumour has it that Johnny Flynn has been recording with Laura Marling, y'know!

album of the week part 1 - at swim two birds

I was trying to put this in an RR folder - but I'm failing cos I'm so tied.
I really don't know anything about this - I picked it up because I liked the cover and was interested in the name... I'll put it up now, then Toffeeboy can add his smile inspired AOTW too... interested to hear the opinions on this.. Enjoy.


Geeking Out - or - How I Listen To Music Has Changed

Hey 'Spillers - I've geeked out a bit this week, with the arrival of my new laptop (It's a 15" Macbook Pro, if anyone's interested) and thought I'd discuss it with you - mainly centring on how my music set-up has changed over the years. Maybe it would be easiest if I break it down by rough era:

1977 - 1987 - My music listening is at the whim of my father. He owns thousands of LPs, mostly classical. These are played by his record player and amp, and massive speakers that he built himself. By the age of ten I've heard every piece of classical music ever written, some 60s avant garde, and some jazz. I've also heard "Pillow Talk"/ "Roly Poly" a 7" that I get him to play over and over, it's from some Doris Day film I've still never seen.

1987 - 1992 - I buy my first 7" records, but still have to play them on my dad's record player. At some point during this period, a tape-to-tape deck gets brought home from my dad's work. He puts my 7"s onto cassette tape for me, an I can play them on the "dubbing" deck. I also use this deck to copy Sinclair Spectrum games, and to tape songs off the radio. This must be my first musical independence - being able to play what I want at my own leisure. About this time, I have a go on my cousin's Sony Walkman when out for a walk one day. My mind is blown, having all this music to yourself, to your ears alone, is phenomenal. I don't even realise the fast forward and rewind buttons exist. I buy a few albums on tape, and get a walkman equivalent for a birthday. My Madonna tapes make way for Extreme, Ugly Kid Joe, and Aerosmith. Cassette singles abound, from 1988 onwards.

1992 - 1996 - The first CDs that I can remember turn up, though it escapes me which the very first was. During this period I still have to tape a lot of CDs through my Dad's stereo, I also begin to borrow CDs from the library - who in retrospect have a decent selection of indie music! I inherit my Grandfather's record/tape player, which I hook up a CD player to (A Technics unit, that only died about a year ago) that I buy with saved up birthday money. I start to love the vinyl, buying what are now Indie and Grunge classics, cos the cds were always a bit too expensive. I make a copy of an indie tape that my brother's friend has made, this tape turns out to been the most influential compendium of music that has ever featured in my life (the exact tracklisting of which is going to be the subject of a future blimpcast). I start to trail around Soho record shops looking for stuff that I can't get in my local WHSmiths.

1996 - 1999 - I swap a Britpop Adidas 3 stripe trackey top that's a bit too big for me for a CD/tape stereo with quite small and crappy speakers, which only works when there's a shoe on top of the CD lid. This goes to Uni with me, and is how I hear music for the 3 years I'm at Uni. Also during this time, I buy almost zero music, due to a lack of money, and a lack of a place to play vinyl. The most important CDs I buy during this period are Belle and Sebastian, and Mogwai, though it takes a few more years to realise the importance of the former.

1999 - 2003 - I get my first computer, an Apple iMac, which has awesomely powerful built in speakers, and my first internet connection. Dial Up. 56k!! I download mp3s for the first time, which could take ten minutes for one song, and begin to build up a library of free tracks from a website whose name escapes me. Itunes doesn't exist at this point. My iMac is located in a spare room, so I still listen to CDs and LPs, now Uni has finished hi-via my fi separates that have turned up.

2003 -2006 - This period my computer music and analogue music are very much separate, my iMac moves into my bedroom, and I can play CDs through it. Peer to Peer software gets invented and I start to take advantage of it with my new broadband connection. Itunes shows up, as a very easy way to organise and access all these hundreds of songs I've downloaded.

2004/2005 - I get my first laptop, as well as airtunes via an apple airport express. This means I can wirelessly stream music on my laptop to my "big" stereo. Torrent software makes it quick and easy to download whole albums. I get my first iPod in 2005, and almost fill it immediately. The difference between mp3s and cds etc is lessening, the effort of having to sit at a computer in a specified room has vanished due to the laptop. The experience of listening to music thru small computer speakers has also vanished. I still fetishise vinyl, and my wife buys me a 1950s portable record player.

2005 - Present - Listening to music via the computer has become the norm - Itunes, Ipods, Airtunes, iPods in the car via a tape adaptor,, torrents, and lately Spotify that means even tho the CD is upstairs, you don't need to go and find it. The idea of having music on a physical storage media seems dated (cds from the 80s are falling apart, just like the Mona Lisa) The laptop is the most important part of it, because the internet is no longer confined to a certain room, all the music ever can be wherever you are at home, sitting on the couch with your feet up. Browsing is dead. Buying music on a review alone is dead. No alarms and no surprises (but also less disappointments and wastes of time, and albums bought on the basis of one good track and a good NME review).

At the moment, I have 3 networked laptops with music librarys that can be accessed via iTunes from any one laptop. This streams wirelessly to the massive B&W speakers in the lounge, via the Cambridge Audio amp. This is achieved using an application called "Airfoil" for the mac, and an apple airport express which has an audio line out from it, to carry the perfect signal. Occasionally I get up and put on a record. One day I won't require legs any more.

It's a shame that, although the process of listening to music has been made more accessible and easier and easier, this process has cheapened the art itself.

It's the myth of speed.

The faster you go, the more you see, and the less it all means.

A Brief History Of Love

Saturday, September 26, 2009

St. Vincent - "Marrow" - Part Two!

Wordwall Warning!
Pseud Alert!

" What's this frankly bizarre video all about, 'Spillers? What does it all mean? "

Blimpy recently was intigued enough about the St. Vincent video of Marrow to pose the above questions. It was the first time I'd come across Annie Clark. I thought - wow something special here, posted a reply saying as much - then set about a more thorough study. Time to put my Pseud Hat on.

I have to say again at the outset - she has an extraordinary sensibility, and extraordinary musical abilities to match. This is rare in music (or any other art - we could be talking painting here) - rarer than usual, but not bizarre or weird. She's doing all she can to give shape to the shape she's in. It's what we all have to deal with every day - it's just that with this particular degree of sensibility and level of musical accomplishment (she plays/engineers pretty much everything) it makes for a match you don't see that often.

What we're seeing and hearing is someone struggling to make sense of their life, their predicament. And it seems a battle, or at least a clash. This isn't easy listenin'. This isn't just the usual rub of life's rough edges catching against the smooth - the stuff you and I deal with. For her it seems that violence and calm have to be fixed in a kind of stasis, kept in a perfect balance. They are warring elements - elemental forces - that she keeps control of by means of balanced/opposed word pairings, and by sound colours/textures/intensities set off against eachother. It runs through all her songs, not just these lines:

Muscle connects to the bone
And the bone to the iron in the marrow
I wish I had a gentle mind and a spine made up of iron

Mouth connects to the teeth
And teeth to the loves and curses

Muscle is soft and flexible - bone is hard and rigid. Loves balance curses. She has a formidable intellect, that's clear : but is it too sharp/too critical? She wishes it were less hard-edged : that the toughness could go elsewhere and be more useful to keep her strong.

And in between it all, she's insisting on connections. So these aren't just simple statements of opposites - they're all joined up somehow in a body. We are where these antitheses live. Which for us, is generally in a state of uneasy accommodation. For her I suspect, they are locked in mortal combat. You think I exaggerate? You should listen to the long inexorable climax to Black Rainbow. Play it as loud as she plays it on stage, and you'd be shook. This is a slim stylishly-dressed young woman wrestling with her daemons.

Meanwhile what's happening onscreen? It's a road. A long straight road in the middle of nowhere? That, at my age, would seem to be a young person looking at life. My 'road dream' would be considerably shorter. And who's coming up behind? Is it a slow-crawling rapist, or a friendly local? And the blank-faced couple (with daughter as part of) is that a fan-belt problem or a family break-down?

These and other encounters along the way are all seen as either/both/neither threatening, then disturbing - then . . . unimportant. She turns her back on all of them. They still follow, because you can't erase the past, but they have lost, for the moment, all power over her. Or only as long as she keeps singing. Menace and comfort are present in all these little scenes: the family, the cop, the hoodies, the bike, the sheep. Ordinary in context - surreal out of.
And the shrine by the roadside? That starts and ends the video? You think I'd leave a little thing like the ephemeral inconsequentiality of religion out of it (simply because I'd almost completly forgotten about it, or thought it was going to be too tricky to explain? Please. C'm on! How many more question marks have I left? Uh - only five? Or four now? Oh shit . . . )

So I pretend there aren't ten strings tied to all ten of my fingers.

As a pretty ace guitarist she possibly finds it easier not to think of the strings that join up her body. Start anatomizing things, and you might not be able to put them back together. She's aware of the precarious framework that holds the whole show together.

And what's our protagonist doing all the while? No, she's not wiggling her butt-magnet (that'll be her next hip-hop deconstruct album) - she's utterly impassive and neutral. She's got it all under control. Like her album-cover photos.
Well, just. The dual-camera shift-effect tells me that all these people, all these scenarios still have possible other meanings, other outcomes. Nothing bad has happened - yet. Or it might depend on how you look at it.

Oh and the music? Well now . . . it's the usual disjunture of angelic choirs jousting with impossible instruments. No, I really mean impossible: these are bassoonophons and harpsifiddles that she crams into her 'stomp-box' for the stage. Generally it's almost atonal sludge that she pumps up out of the bilges with this pedal. Aurally glorious too. Those in the know will soon enough tell me that there are extraordinary chord or key shifts going on. I know it sounds like chaos - and I know it's not in the least. Meanwhile she keeps her voice-track pretty clear : she wants the words, beautifully enunciated, to get through, above all.

Can you reach the spots that need oiling and fixing?

Help me, help me

Is this video bizarre? Is she mad?

Only the crazy think they're not. She's not and you'd know it too if you can be bothered to find the clip of her rehearsing that particularly blistering guitar section, and getting it right, and grinning with delight. (Rehearsal before South by SouthWest). But she knows too that people are haunted machines: the strings that twitch the bones, and the mind that pulls the strings. She knows she's got it bad - whatever it is that makes her her - but also that she's got the means to deal with it so we can see it, and thereby see her, more clearly. And all that might just make the whole trip more bearable, even joyful.

Drawing a Crowd

as DsD didn't get me a Grolsch.. I'll become a Lager Lout on my own......

the days of wine and roses just one of my favorite and my best tracks ever, crow barred into pole position.
Winners Lose a cover of one anti-folk to another...
Heavyweight Champion Of The World Barbryn reminded me of this with his post this week.. good timing.

Win Your Love a joyous noise
Friday Night At The Drive-In Bingo silly but brilliant, I was going to do a whole BINGO list but resisted.
Windfall he gets too country for my taste some times, but lyrically some strangeness that I just enjoy.. this is a peach.
Took You Two Tears To Win My Heart over the top on many occasions - this is one of two songs from this album that fits the theme.

Hey, let's challenge... bet I win...
Grammy Winners a different version to the video posted bellow.
We Gonna Win oh yes we are
Bingo okay another bingo track.. I just wanna shout "house" .. obviously this is not house music!
Winners Take All what's it all about then?
Champion Sound don't think steen or EJD have beaten me to it..
Win Win Winwhat's it all about then too?

Donds to anyone whose suggested them on RR... can't get on again (my computer has run out of space.. it's the least of my problems at the moment) so enjoy.

and add The German top Five 'The Champ' between Jens and Cass and you get a double sided groove machine of a playlist... enjoy...( or endure the second half, some of you!)

Favourite Recorded Scream

I read about this a while ago and have finally got round to tracking down some information about it. This is from the website of the bloke who made it:

"Between October 2008 and March 2009, I visited every record store in Manhattan and asked the employees for their favorite scream from recorded music. Side one of this record is a compilation of the screams; one from each song, edited together and arranged in the order they were submitted. Side two follows the same order as side one, but has ten second spaces between each of the audio tracks." Includes 18 x 24" poster w/ map and record store information, address/hours/website/phone etc.
Pictured on this site is the cover of the record, the poster (both sides), and all 74 of the participant questionnaires.
LP. Edition of 500. Includes fold-out map."

Here's an extract:

My Favourite Recorded Scream

So, what's yours?

I Feel Like A King

Just Kissed my Baby
1980 World Champion
Success feat. Nas (THOSE MFs remix)
Hip-Hop Saved My Life
The Champ
Never Goin' Back
Roc Boys
Um Ricka f. K'Naan
13 de Maio

Only One Can Win
Adventures In Success

New/Old MBV (fingers crossed).

Despite the fact that I'd consider myself fairly competent on a computer, I've never had any luck with posting music here, so this is the latest in a long, long line of attempts, and it's probably doomed too. Edit: Well, it took just under three hours, but I think I've finally cracked it.

Recently, I came across four unreleased My Bloody Valentine songs, presumably demos, dating from around the time of 'Isn't Anything' and 'Glider'. My guess is that 'Good For You' and the infamous 'Cowboy Song' date from the former, 'Kevin Song' and 'Bilinda Song' from the latter. It would be very hard to explain how excited I was to hear essentially an EP of new music from Kevin Shields, or how in awe of his music I am (not so much pre-'You Made Me Realise', but that's not the point here). Posting music that has leaked online is obviously dubious at best, but after enduring and suffering the wait and the silence from the man (people born the year 'Loveless' was released are now eligible to vote, to give you an idea), and with a promise of new music in December at All Tomorrow's Parties (we'll see), it's too good and happy-making to ignore, or not to share, and I know I'll buy it if it ever gets a formal release. I'd love to hear a finished version of 'Bilinda Song', my favourite of the four.

I've added a few other rarities, the instrumentals that came on a 7" with initial copies of 'Isn't Anything', 'Sugar', which was only released on a flexidisc with a French magazine, the two post-'Loveless' cover versions (including the Wire cover I've nommed every chance I got), the full version of 'Glider', and, as an extra, the best of the pieces Kevin Shields wrote for the dance company La La La Human Steps, which is only available in bootleg versions, hence the strange intro on the version included here (the real piece, which I think is the best thing he's done in between MBV then-and-now, starts about 40 seconds in). I've also included a brief video, with terrible sound, of the performance to this piece, which looks amazing, and a fan video for the first track released post-MBV.

I'm still trying to figure out the whole Dropbox thing, so if these files are too large, or there's some other problem, please let me know. Hope you like.

Good For You
Cowboy Song
Kevin Song
Bilinda Song
Instrumental A
Instrumental B
We Have All The Time In The World
Map Reference 41°N 93°W

Thursday, September 24, 2009

St. Vincent - "Marrow"

What's this frankly bizarre video all about, 'Spillers? What does it all mean?
Pseud's hats on, let's go!!


Zissou has been found living on a large traffic island in the middle of the A23 at Thornton Heath Pond. She's fat and glossy and apparently been eating scraps thrown at her from all the local takeaways. She arrived home half an hour ago c/o the Cats Protection League who trapped her and kept her overnight. Not taking very kindly to Zebedee yet, so she's shut in my bedroom with her own food and temporary litter tray. Zebedee, who has not long left his family of six (mother, grandmother, two siblings, and an uncle) is simply curious.

Just how many lives must she have got through there, I dread to think.


In response to Shoey's request, here's some thrown together (non-musical) EOTWQs:

1. First of all, to connect to the picture, what's the strangest item of clothing you've ever worn?

2. I've decided to do this at almost two in the morning, because I'm on work admin avoidance again. I do love my job, but the paperwork is a pain in the arse. Which part of your job is (a) the worst? (b) the best?

3. After a comment made by Darcey at teatime to night, I'd like to know what's the most disgusting food you've ever made yourself eat, just to be polite?

4. Hmmm. I've already had to delete two completely unnecessary uses of the word 'basically' from this post. Which word or phrase do you grossly overuse?

5. It's my round: what are you having?


And an extra techie question: As Boxstr seems to have gone for good, I wondered how you were all still posting mp3s? [A Mr. S.Gazer of Florida has provided the answer.]

Dance The Night Away

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Can I keep the subbuteo please gremlin?

Well, i've been away wi' t' fairies for a while - Summer's gone and it got me thinking baht time i took lead role in a tear-jerker - won't go into too much detail , as it still makes me beal nah but I hope tha can get yon fillum's name and me co-star. Still got these kecks too...

Away We Go & New Ballboy (kinda)

I think I may have posted the trailer for the new Sam Mendes directed film "Away We Go" way back, I'm now pleased to report that I just watched the film, and it's ace.
A lot of the songs on the s/t are sung by a chap named Alexi Murdoch, so here's one.

Ballboy fans! New Ballboy (kinda!) - hop on over to the always excellent Song By Toad to hear more from Gordon's side project! Fab stuff!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bruce catches up with tfd again

He does it every year you know...

I coulda been a contender...

Since people have said nice things about the song I Dropped in the Box the other day, I thought I’d share some more.

Unlike certain other ’Spillers, my musical career never really got as far as the starting blocks. The story goes like this. I recorded a demo when I was 18, which I sent off to half a dozen record companies. One of those was Jeepster Records, then home to Belle & Sebastian and no one else. Their manager, Mark Jones, phoned up to say how much he liked it, and that he wanted to meet me.

Unfortunately, I’d just gone to Australia for six months on a slightly pointless gap year. I did meet him when I got back – on the guest list at a sold-out B&S gig, I’ll have you know – but by that time he’d signed a band called Snow Patrol. (Feel free to imagine a parallel universe for a moment… I have, many times.) I went off to university. And that’s about it. A couple of cheaply self-financed recordings, sent half-heartedly to the odd record company. Very occasional gigs in bars. Two excellent reviews in the unsigned bands section of the Salisbury Journal. But if I’m honest, I’m too much of a dilettante to pursue a career in the music industry. That, and I never met the right band.

One of these days, I’m going to buy some decent software, record a load of songs, put them online and become a word-of-mouth sensation (right after I’ve finished my novel...). In the meantime, here’s a few tunes I do have. The first four were recorded in someone’s basement studio in 1998(?). The other four I recorded myself the following summer, then got someone to remaster. There are some bum notes, and my voice can drift excruciatingly into the mid-Atlantic at times. But hey, hope you like them. Any comments/recording contracts gratefully received.

Justine Sees The Sun Go Down
Fake The Ecstatic Again
Song In October
After Lucy Died

Land of Cockaigne
Swan Song
Snatch At The Sun
French Horn

AOTW - A Certain Ratio - Sextet

As we haven't had an AOTW for a while, I'll throw this up. On Factory Records from 1982, those white boys on funk: A Certain Ratio. If you don't like the tunes you can always enjoy the pretty sleeve. The reissued cd came with the Waterline 12" B side from 1981 "Funaezekea" & a remix from a later 12" that doesn't quite fit the sound of this album (& goes on way too long); So I've substituted the original "Waterline" A side. It's all fermenting in the box for your listening pleasure.

Monday, September 21, 2009

swossages and sprouts

Microdisney at the Fool Moon Club Cork

Kneelin' at my altar

I found it!!

A while ago I asked if anyone could think of a hip-hop track which used a sample from Cannonball Adderley's Walk Tall.. this was it- Arrested Development's Kneelin' at my altar. I just love the loop on this.
No thanks to The Breaks, which had the sample confusingly listed as Joe Zawinul's "Baby, that's what I need", which was the Esther Marrow vocal version.

Here's the Adderley original, with a great intro by Jesse Jackson..

Sunday, September 20, 2009

love is a dog from hell

Okay.. haven't done this for a while so hope it works..

none of these are deeply personal, because all my exes love me still and as friends I never have issues with the f**king NUT NUTS that I courted...
"If I'd met you sooner, you may have met me saner"
as Beber & Tamra sound tracked my youth...
ENJOY.. if that's the right term.
no smashing plates....
There Is No Good Way To Say I'm Leaving You
Don't Love You
Don't Be Angry
Single Again
Sandpaper Kisses
We Love You
Shut Up And Let Me Go (Left/Right Remix)
In Bed With Your Best Friend
It's Winter & You Don't Love Me Anymore
Travelling On (Beber's Two Part Remix)

this isn't serious.. but we all need some DJ Format to make it all right.
Separated At Birth
You Need Satan More Than He Needs You
and the last track is for japanther (musically.. I'm not inferring you're a satan loving dark night)

Tim Vanhamel - Umtil I find you

...would have posted this one in the iPod Shuffle post, as it came up first when I switched my laptop iTunes on, but, well, it's a great song, and a fine video...

ps. he's from Belgium, he's been in Evil Superstars/Millionaire/Eagles of Death Metal

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Twelve Tasks Of ToffeeBoy #9 – Prefab Sprout

Well, I had been planning to leave my favourite band of all time till last – this (as far as any sort of forethought has gone into this foolhardy scheme of mine) was supposed to be the twelfth task. But in the last few weeks, the world has changed. And it’s been changed by music. It’s been changed by the release of Prefab Sprout’s new (or rather, old) album, Let’s Change The World With Music.

And now, I can’t concentrate on anything else but Prefab Sprout and all the associated works of Paddy McAloon. I’ve been revisiting old albums, listening to obscure B-sides, downloading live concerts from 2000 (OK, only one of those) and listening to the new album more times than is good for my health and my relationship. I've also spent a lot of time on a Prefab Sprout forum - which has been interesting, but I have to confess that I feel slightly guilty about this - almost like I've been 'playing away'. Anyway the point is that I can’t get the Sprouts out of my head and when tincanman asked us to set our iTunes to full-on shuffle mode, it was almost inevitable that a Prefab Sprout track would come up first – as indeed it did.

I know that when it comes to loving Prefab Sprout, I’m not alone in these parts (hi there frogprincess, sourpus, fuel, BalearicBeat, TonNL) but I also know that there are some of you out there who still need to be convinced of the genius of McAloon. So I present for your listening pleasure, eleven tracks covering the whole twenty seven years that Paddy’s been creating his wonderful music.

Here are some rules for making comments on this thread:

- you are allowed not to like his voice
- you can say that the music isn’t quite to your taste
- you can comment in a vaguely negative way about the production values


- you MUST agree that the man is a lyrical genius
- you HAVE TO acknowledge that the chord structures and melodic shifts are the hallmarks of a top-notch songwriter
- you MUST accept that Prefab Sprout are a truly significant pop act

Right. OK. If you buy just one Prefab Sprout album it should be Steve McQueen. If you just listen to one track, make it Nightingales.

Here’s the music:

Lions In My Own Garden (Exit Someone)
The Devil Has All The Best Tunes
Moving The River
The Wedding March
Love Will Find Someone For You
Earth, The Story So Far

Hear are some links:

Sproutnet - the unofficial Prefab Sprout website
A fan site with an excellent discography
A fantastic Prefab Sprout blog

Friday, September 18, 2009


After You've Gone
Big Leg Blues
Pay Day
Turning Point
There She Goes
Baby Gonna Leave Me
I'm Waking Up to Us
You Made Me Forget My Dreams
Do Me a Favour
The Great Compromise
Here it Comes
Hand Springs
Love Sick
The Rooster
U R the One
You Got Me
Otha Fish

Gone for a soldier

I think I may have used this picture before, but if I have I'm sure you won't mind seeing it again. It was very unusual for poor families in the past to have a photo like this taken - in this case, it is 1896 and the two elder sons of the family have joined the army (because there wasn't enough to feed them all) and are about to set off for the North-West Frontier. They had the photo taken in case one or both didn't come back.

Both of them did, though, I'm pleased to say, since these are my ancestors - my grandfather, William Murray Taylor, is on the left.

Banks Of The Nile - Sandy Denny
Leavin' Nancy - Eric Bogle
Van Diemen's Land - Shirley Collins and the Albion Country Band
An Empty Cup (A Broken Date) - Buddy Holly and the Crickets
The Blue Cockade - Show Of Hands
For Lovin' Me - Peter, Paul & Mary
Bogie's Bonnie Belle - Richard Thompson
Think It Over One Time - Robert Earl Keen

Separation Anxiety

Abandon Ship
Backwards Walk
I Want To Burn Again
Why Don't You Stay Home?
Indoor Fireworks
The 8th Ring of Hell
Half Dead
Mean To Me
You Oughta Know
Thirsty Dog
Blueberry Hill


Trailers have always been one of my fav parts of going to the movies... Here are a few movies I can't wait to see...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mary Travers 1936-2009

Mary Travers, of Peter, Paul and Mary, has died of leukaemia at the age of 72.

People tended to be a bit sniffy about PP&M, thinking of them as a manufactured group (apparently the brief was for a handsome one, a funny one and a woman) or as protest-lite. I'd forgotten how much I used to like them before I saw the concert broadcast on BBC4 as part of the Folk America season. I especially liked her, not only for her gorgeous voice, but for the way she stood, with her fists clenched and flicking back her hair. She was in one of the documentaries in Folk America too, so we could see something was wrong as she was wearing an oxygen line...apparently she'd been ill for some time.

Anyway, a few of their tunes have been wafted my way by my iPod in the past few days...maybe those 'Spillers who don't like Dylan's voice will go for the PPM version of When The Ship Comes In.

If I Had A Hammer
When The Ship Comes In
Where Have All The Flowers Gone

Cheesy woody watermelons

There have been a number of posts on people's "cheese", their feel-good, slightly guilty listening pleasures. With me it's never been pop music, but a cd arrival today made me realize what the Nilpferd fromage equivalent could be- funky, brassy big band jazz.

Here's a 1963 Grammy winning recording of Watermelon Man by the Woody Herman big band, arranged by Nat Pierce. I especially love the deep bottom end to this arrangement, anchored by the trombones and baritone sax, along with the call and response playing of the saxes against the brass, and the on-fire rhythm section. OK, I basically love everything about it.
Recordings of funk based material by the great sixties big bands were born out of necessity, as it became increasingly harder to sell swing and hard-bop based records, but I don't consider it a sellout, rather a match made in heaven.
These types of tracks- Count Basie's Hang on Sloopy is another great example- appeal to me on two levels- on the one hand there's the sheer, technical beauty in such machine-tooled playing when a 18-odd piece band gets its chops around something this funky, on the other hand I just love the sound of it at a gut level.

Excuse me now while I do the funky nod.

Infallible like Bruce Lee

I'm back and I've been loving these 3 songs:

Marina's no robot, neither are you.

Um Indio A song that mentions Mohammed Ali and Bruce Lee, two of the coolest people ever, can't be wrong, from Caetano Veloso's jazz-funk Bicho album.

I Want To Be Your Man Before Auto-Tune, there was the vocoder. Roger Troutman was the master.

Pick your poison

..... or let shuffle do it for you.

Come on, no cheating - iPods/media players on shuffle, hit play .... What came up first and what do you score it ?/10?

(Feel free to tell us a bit about it if you like)


Here's my favorite Russian band. Leningrad. Something about them.

Probably its all about Serge Shnurov's voice. But the songs are also so insanely catchy and just made for drinking vodka.

You decide.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Have You Ever Wondered....

Have you ever wondered what Factory Record's output would have sounded like had they been based on a sunny California shore, rather than in a rainy Northern city? 

Let's Go Surfing
I Felt Stupid

Boy, these are some top notch pop songs and no mistake! 

**edit** I'm having a pop attack! I can't stop listening to these songs!! I need to put my ironing away! Aaaarrrgh!! 

Let's Talk Sleeves...

Spillharmonic sleeve ideas?

Do we want to go down the route of handmade sleeves (not like the one pictured)? 

Or do we want a glossy pro printed effort? 

A handmade sleeve could establish a 'Spillharmonic house-style, and make each sleeve unique. This would mean setting up a spillsweatshop somewhere in the country, at some point in the future....

I think a 'Spillharmonic stamp could be made up, to stamp the record label with. 

Кончится лето

Trudging to work with boots still soaked from yesterday's downpour in London, i am forced to conclude that summer has abandoned us. Wet faux-leather aside, i love autumn. The misty, melancholy mornings and the perpetual wisp of bonfire smoke in the air find a perfect soundtrack in Soviet rock legends Kino.

Few Russian acts (my beloved Tatu aside) have made much of an impact over here but Kino, and the cult of lead singer Viktor Tsoi, have a strange habit of cropping up in fashionable magazines nearly twenty years after their demise. Formed in the early eighties, their rise to prominence mirrored the collapse of the Union's Communist infrastructure - burning brightest as Perestroika loomed and a generation turned increasingly towards the counter-cultural underground to cement an identity independent from state orthodoxy. Although influenced by Depeche Mode, The Smiths, Joy Division and, improbably, Duran Duran, Kino were always far more than a Soviet copy of prevailing Western trends, drawing heavily on the poetic legacy of Russian bardic singers.

In the grand tradition of doomed youth icons, Tsoi was killed in a road accident in Riga in 1990. His impact was such that state newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda was moved to say:

"Tsoi means more to the young people of our nation than any politician, celebrity or writer. This is because Tsoi never lied and never sold out. He was and remains himself. It's impossible not to believe him... Tsoi is the only rocker who has no difference between his image and his real life, he lived the way he sang... Tsoi is the last hero of rock."

Walk the streets of any Russian city today and there's a fair chance you'll come across the words "Tsoi lives!" scrawled on the walls.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Vera Lynn Tops the Charts Again

Vera Lynn's album We'll Met Again - The Very Best of Vera Lynn has topped the British charts beating out remastered Beatles albums among others. Story is here: She is the oldest living artist ever to top the UK album charts.

'Spillharmonic Records - Update

As Tinny pointed out, it has gone a bit quiet on the 'Spillharmonic Records front.
After the initial flurry of activity and donations, things kinda got stuck at the $755 mark. 

So, for those who don't know, here's a recap. 

'Spillharmonic Records has been founded to release special one-off singles.
The idea is that us music lovers can add to the canon of good music and have some fun at the same time. All those who donate, whatever amount, become equal partners in the label and have an equal say in what goes on record, as well as contributing to art/video/promotion etc. 
One band per side of vinyl (there will be a cd included also, and mp3s, for the more modern folks). 

So, if you are a reader of the 'Spill, and would like to get involved - you can donate securely via Paypal via the widget below, or in the sidebar. 

We're not far off the financial target, so please do get stuck in, so we can really get going! 

Work has started on the label website, click here to view, which needs to be added to. 

Also, we should now be looking at submissions for tracks to release. Previous consensus of opinion was that we should be helping a band/bands who are already out there gigging, and trying to make a go of it. So, if you know of anyone, please get them to send a track or two in!  

Eight Tracks

I spent last week humming middle 8s to myself but forgot to nominate most of them. Never mind, here's my loosely linked quiz. The pictures come from albums which feature an 8 track. That is a track which contains or refers to said number. I only need the title of the track. You can tell us it was the eleventh take, is on the beginning of side 2 or that its working title was Scrambled Chair but I won't be interested.
8 shall be the number of the counting. Thou shalt not count to 9, neither shalt though count to 7 unless thou then proceedeth to...oh, skip a bit brother.

EOTWQ: Tired and Ill Special

I'm off work today, with a horrible cold that kept me up all night. I tried to catch up on my sleep today, until the cat decided the best place to curl up would be right on my head. 
So, I'm lethargic, and have actually turned to computer games to pass the time, I'm currently playing Lego Batman on the PS2. So, 
Question 1: What's your favourite ever computer/video game or game character? I love tetris as much as the next person, but Head and Heels (above) will always have a special place in my heart. Games don't seem to be as much fun as they used to be, but maybe that's cos I'm under the weather, so Q2: Any good tips about dealing with a cold or lurgee? What do you do to comfort yourself when ill? Comfort food? I had some Heinz Oxtail soup, and that helped. 
Recently I bought a pair of parrot candlesticks for the mantelpiece in my lounge, turns out they're too wide. I am seriously considering getting the mantelpiece made larger to accommodate them. So, Q3 - what's been your most impractical purchase? Possibly one that got you in deep trouble with yr other half? 
I totally couldn't sleep last night, and even my favoured trick of listening to a really dull podcast to get me off to sleep didn't work (it was a geeky science type podcast incase you're wondering, called The Skeptics Guide To The Universe) - Q4 - What do you do to get to sleep? 
So, for this EOTWQ not to be too much of a bummer, Q5 - Tell us a joke?

Sick Muse by Metric